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IFCO 2340 - Is a gender-equal society possible?

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2016-2017

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

All societies are characterized by sex and gender inequalities. Economic and social organizations rely on a sexual division of labor based on social norms which assign different roles for men and women. Despite the fact gender inequalities are a common feature of all societies, some countries perform better than others in tackling them. This course focuses on analyzing the reconfiguration and the persistence of sex inequalities by relying on theoretical and empirical knowledge. The interactions between Welfare state, market and family are analyzed through international, historical, and socio-economic perspectives. A particular attention is paid to controversies among researchers and feminist thinking. The ultimate goal is to identify major challenges faced by societies. A specific attention is paid in linking academic knowledge to policy making process, based on cases study and practical dilemma. For each session, 30-45 minutes are dedicated to “Challenging societies” by opening up a debate in the class on topics that reveal the relevance of a gender perspective. A broad spectrum of topics is addressed in the course to shed light on the importance of gender in the understanding of our societies and their future.


  • PERIVIER, Hélène (Economiste, PRESAGE - OFCE)
  • VAN DER GRAAF, Anne (Doctorante)

Pedagogical format

This is a 24h lecture course in English. The teaching assistant will organize occasional work sessions to help students with their assignments and the preparation of the paper. Throughout the course, all academic honesty rules apply. Please be sure to use proper citation and bibliographic references for all written work.

Course validation

There will be three requirements: • Midterm paper: accounting for 30% of the final grade. Students have to send the topic they have chosen for their final paper, and explain the general problematic with a indicative bibliography. • Final Paper: accounting for 60% of the final grade, 2000 words max, including the bibliography. The paper is a critical essay on chosen topic related to gender. You should rely on relevant bibliography to discuss the topic and pose questions you think are required to build a gender equal society. In grading, we will put a particular emphasis on your analytical perspective, not just the quality of the synthesis. • Participation and preparation of sessions: accounting for 10%. For each session, a topic is scheduled to be discussed in the class. Students have to prepare it and find resources to feed the discussion. For some sessions, a guest will present her or his research on particular issue, students are expected to prepare questions after having read the text provided.

Required reading

  • Fraisse G., Reason's Muse. Sexual Difference and the Birth of Democracy, translated by Jane Mary Todd, The University of Chicago Press. / Muse de la raison, la démocratie exclusive et la différence des sexes, Alinea, 1989.
  • Still J. S., The subjection of Women, 1869, London.
  • Karamessini M. and J. Rubery (eds.), Women and Austerity, The economic crisis and the future for gender equality, Routledge IAFFE Advanced in Feminist Economics.
  • Warren K. (ed.), 1994, Ecological Feminism, Routledge.
  • de Beauvoir S., The Second Sex, Translated by Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier, London, Jonathan Cape, 2009 / Le deuxième sexe, 1949.

Plans de cours et bibliographies